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Wednesday, 8 February 2017


February 2017


Three New Zealand Films to Screen at Berlin Film Festival

Three New Zealand films will premiere at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale).  Tusi Tamasese’s One Thousand Ropes and Jackie van Beek’s The Inland Road will have world premieres at the festival, and Tearepa Kahi’s Poi E: The Story of Our Song will have its international premiere.

One Thousand Ropes, written and directed by Tusi Tamasese and produced by Catherine Fitzgerald will have its world premiere in the festival’s Panorama section as a Panorama Special. This is the first New Zealand film to be selected for Panorama since
No. 2 in 2006, and only the third New Zealand feature ever to have screened in the section.   Panorama showcases new films by renowned directors, debut films and new discoveries.  Traditionally, auteur films – movies with an individual signature – form the heart of the programme.

Written and directed by Jackie van Beek and produced by Aaron Watson, The Inland Road, will have its world premiere in the Festival’s Generation14+ section. The Inland Road is Jackie van Beek’s debut feature, following her successful short film, Go the Dogs which screened at the 2011 Berlinale. 

Poi E: The Story of Our Song will join The Inland Road in the Generation 14+ section for its international premiere.  Directed and executive produced by Tearepa Kahi and produced by Alexander Behse and Reikura Kahi, the film is Kahi’s second feature following 2014’s Mt Zion. Poi E had its world premiere in July 2016 as the opening night film at the New Zealand International Film Festival. Released in Australia and New Zealand in late 2016 by Sony Pictures, the film took over $1.2 million dollars at the New Zealand box office, making it one of the top five New Zealand documentaries of all time.

You can read more about the films and the Berlinale here.

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New Annie Goldson Documentary to Premiere at SXSW

A new documentary from accomplished and much-awarded filmmaker, Annie Goldson (Brother Number One, An Island Calling) will have its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.  Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web details the battle between Dotcom and the US government and entertainment industry being fought out in New Zealand.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web is financed by the NZFC and Monsoon Pictures.  The film will be repped at SXSW by US sales agent, XYZ Films.

Based in Austin, Texas, SXSW is a nine-day festival and conference series that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The film section of the festival features provocative documentaries, comedies, genre standouts and more.  New Zealand films that have screened at SXSW previously include Black Sheep, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Free In Deed.

SXSW 2017 runs 10-19 March.

You can read more about the film and SXSW here.


Pork Pie Road Trip and Premieres

A fleet of Minis rolled across the country, accompanying the stars of Pork Pie to special screenings and appearances to support the film which opened nationwide on 2 February.

Starting in Kaitia, the convoy travelled to the film's world premiere at Auckland's Civic, complete with yellow carpet in tribute to the iconic Mini in which the Blondini gang traverse the country.

An outdoor screening in Hamilton followed, then Wellington's Embassy Theatre where the Prime Minister and Governor General rubbed shoulders with the stars.  Another special guest at the Wellington premiere was Goodbye Pork Pie director Geoff Murphy, father of Pork Pie's director, Matt Murphy.

An outdoor screening at Wellington's Trentham Racecourse ran just after the Embassy screening with some cast in attendance.  

An outdoor screening in Christchurch broke up the journey down the South Island as the convoy headed to Invervcargill and the premiere screening there.  Guests at this screening included long-time Invercargill Mayor, Tim Shadbolt who has a cameo role in the film.

Pork Pie is in cinemas now and you can view the trailer here.

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Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards

The Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards (AKA the Moas) are back in 2017 after a one year hiatus.

The Awards will recognise a wide range of films released over the past two years. Nineteen narrative features, nine documentary features and twelve short films have been nominated across a number of categories.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople has the highest number of nominations, with fifteen, closely followed by The Rehearsal with thirteen and Mahana with twelve.

The awards will be presented on 18 February at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.

You can read more about the Moas here.

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Congratulations to the Kiwis involved with films nominated for Academy Awards.  

John Gilbert is nominated in the Film Editing category for his work on Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge

The VX team behind The Jungle Book, which includes Weta Digital, have been nominated in the Visual Effects category.

Congratulations to Roseanne Liang, Hamish Mortland and Tim White with full houses at their Sundance Film Festival screenings of Do No Harm.

Congratulations to Joe Letteri for winning the GENIE Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognises the significant and lasting achievements of people in the digital creation industry.  Letteri's award celebrates his work as a Senior Digital Effects Supervisor at Weta Digital.


The A - Z of Producing

Do you want to take your producing career to the next level?  The NZFC, in conjunction with the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), is offering a select group of Industry Practitioners a chance to step up and learn everything there is to know about producing Feature Films. From April – December this year the successful candidates will participate in intensive New Zealand based workshops and ongoing mentoring and learning while they develop a slate of their own projects – culminating in an opportunity to pitch for project and business development funding.

Applications are open now and will close on 28th Feb.

You will find details about the course and how to apply here.


Women’s Horror Short Film Grant

Have you got a distinctive, edgy and compelling short horror film that you want to make?

The NZFC Women’s Horror Short Film Grant is a one-off initiative, aimed at providing women genre filmmakers the opportunity to make their horror short film and potentially have the chance to be part of an innovative international feature film anthology; one that will have strong exposure to the international marketplace and audiences around the world. We are looking for frighteningly talented women writers and directors. 

The application deadline is 9am on Friday 10 March 2017.

Full information, including the guidelines and application form will be available on our website soon.


Ramai Hayward Wahine Māori Directors' Scholarship

In December we published details of the the Ramai Hayward Wahine Māori Directors' Scholarship,  the third gender scholarship, following the awards supported by Jane Campion in 2015, and Gaylene Preston in 2016. The 2017 scholarship acknowledges the legacy and outstanding contribution of pioneering Māori filmmaker, Ramai Hayward.

Born in 1916, Patricia Rongomaitara "Ramai" Hayward (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu) was New Zealand’s first Māori filmmaker, working as an actor, camerawoman, director and scriptwriter from the 1930s, through to her death in 2014.  Her career took her to Australia, Albania, the UK and China, where she and her husband, Rudall Hayward, made the first English language films after the Communist revolution.

The aim of this scholarship is to support wahine Māori first time feature film directors to progress their projects to a market-ready state, and assist with securing a producer and production finance in the future.

The scholarship is a total of up to $50,000 to be provided as a grant for wahine Māori first time feature film directors. This scholarship may be shared by more than one recipient.

Details of the scholarship and how to apply can be found here.


He Ara Plus

In December we announced He Ara Plus, a grant existing He Ara teams can apply for to advance their projects to market ready* status by the end of 2017.

Up to three projects will be selected for an additional development grant of up to $20,000 per project.   A workshop will also be held to support the successful teams with advanced script and market development. 

Applications must be received by 9am, Monday 13 February 2017.

*Market ready means the film script or documentary treatment is ready to be taken to market for financing (both local and international), to find equity investors, distributors and/or sales agents and to attach cast and crew.


Up With the Play - Germany/NZ Co-Productions

On March 2 and 3, WIFT NZ will present the last of three annual Co-production Summits as part of Up with the Play, a market focused programme for experienced producers working in film, television and digital media, and their professional advisors.

The Summit will focus on finance and international sales with an in-depth examination of the featured co-production territory – in 2017 this will be Germany. 

The Summit will be chaired by Sharon Menzies, Managing Director of Fulcrum Media Finance.

Guests include: 

  • Susanne Mueller: Executive Director, Feature Films and International Co-productions, ZDF German Television
  • Viola Fűgen: Managing Director, Match Factory Productions
  • Thania Dimitrakopoulou: Head of Sales, The Match Factory
  • Bryce Menzies: Partner, Marshalls & Dent

Places are limited and can be booked via email.


Audience Research

We regularly conduct research on NZFC funded films, including exit surveys for new releases. This research helps profile the audience for New Zealand films and investigates what drives people to see films in cinemas.

You can find the results of exit surveys we've conducted here.


New to NZ Film On Demand

Gaylene Preston's Ruby and Rata and Ivan Barge's much-awarded short film, Madam Black have been added to NZ Film On Demand, the NZFC's video-on-demand platform and are now available to stream or download-to-own.

There are now close to 100 films available at NZ Film On Demand.


Staff News

Jemma Taylor has joined the NZFC in the new role of International PR and Promotions Specialist.  Jemma previously worked as Film Specialist at Tourism New Zealand where she promoted New Zealand as a tourism destination through movies including The Hobbit Trilogy and Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, giving her a detailed understanding of film marketing. Prior to this Jemma worked as a Reporter and Producer at Television New Zealand.

Jemma's role sits within the International team and oversees the delivery of the PR and promotional plan for the international attractions, incentives and international relations.  Key responsibilities include the delivery of the international promotional campaigns and 5% uplift leverage activity, event management and the creation of website and social media content.

On 17 February we will be farewelling Senior Business Affairs Executive Larissa Barbour, and wishing her the very best as she goes on maternity leave. While Larissa is on leave, we welcome back Rochelle Cooney to fill the Senior Business Affairs Executive role.  Rochelle previously held this role and has been working as a contractor in the Business Affairs team for several months.



Feel free to send any questions, feedback or comments regarding this newsletter info@nzfilm.co.nz.

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New Zealand Film Commission